As I mentioned before, I read an article on surface planing boards. I've never had luck planing a board by hand, but I decided to follow the advice in the article. Wow, what a difference. I was able to flatten the board out with only about 1/64" of deviation lengthwise. Yeah, it was a 2' piece of poplar and I was using a freshly sharpened blade. But still, it was an achievement for me. While I was at it I jointed one edge. Ended up being able to get the edge and the face square. All that wanting a power planer... pfffftt! Ok, that's a little too far. Being able to do it by hand is cool though.